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Welcome back to another Spark Social Report by Spark Growth! This week, Facebook and Spotify announced a new app integration and more. Scroll to read the latest digital marketing trends and social media updates! 


Digital Marketing Trends


With more users shopping online, brands should prioritize creating purchasing opportunities wherever possible. One of the main ways to do so is to equip content like images, videos, and blogs with shoppable features. According to Social Media Today, user-generated content (or UGC) is the next frontier for shoppable content. Brands that make UGC the focal point of shoppable content can foster more authentic and meaningful connections with their audiences. 

On a similar note, a new study shows that the mobile shopping experience directly impacts Gen Z audiences and their buying habits. The survey of 1,000 Gen Z customers in the U.S. found that 37% abandoned their shopping carts after a negative digital shopping experience. Additionally, only 38% of shoppers gave brands another opportunity after a negative experience, and when an online store was out of stock, 74% of the shoppers moved to another retailer. These stats indicate that brands should continue to streamline and improve their mobile shopping experiences, as Gen Z users comprise most of today’s youth audiences and are an important demographic for many brands. 


Social Media App Updates 


Facebook and Spotify’s latest partnership expansion will now allow users to share and listen to full-length songs and podcasts directly on Facebook without having to open the Spotify app. Users who are sharing Spotify content will also be able to add a personal message, similar to the format of status updates. This integration helps to diversify the range of shareable content on Facebook. 




In its latest effort to improve data portability, the platform has also added a “Transfer Your Information” tool, which will allow users to transfer their Facebook posts and notes to Google Docs, Blogger, and WordPress.com. The new addition may grant users more accessibility and control over their online data. 

Facebook is also bringing more audio-based features to the platform, likely due to the rising popularity of audio-only platforms like Clubhouse. Users will be able to access music from Facebook’s Sound Collection to use in their Stories, offering the ability to mix audio tracks or apply sound effects and filters. This feature will enable individuals and brands to get more creative with their Stories. Next, users will soon be able to listen to podcasts directly on Facebook, both while actively using the app and while it’s open in the background. This will be beneficial for podcast creators, who will be able to reach a wider audience through Facebook. 




Facebook has also expanded on its “Related Discussions” feature, which is a purple and blue conversation icon that allows users to discover further conversations around a shared post. Now, the users will see an animated icon prompt, which when clicked on, will be redirected to a listing of related groups where the same post has been shared. This will more easily allow a user to see how the topic is being discussed. 




Instagram is adding new options to protect people from abusive DMs. First, the option to “Hide message requests” will enable Instagram to automatically filter DM requests which contain offensive words, phrases, and emojis. Users can also turn both comment and DM request filters off in a new section of Privacy Settings called “Hidden Words.” Lastly, Instagram is making it harder for accounts that a user has already blocked from contacting them again from a new account. Now, when a user blocks someone on Instagram, they have the option to both block their account and any new accounts the person may create. 




TikTok has launched “Lead Generation,” the platform’s first-party solution to help brands reach customers and drive conversion. Businesses are now easily able to share details of their products that are related to the customers’ interests. Brands can connect their ad with an Instant Form, where users can input their name, email, and phone number to signal their interest in the particular product or service. Leads can then be downloaded by the business manually, or if integrated with their CRM, can be immediately activated. To learn more about how your brand can use Lead Generation ad, visit TikTok’s Business Help Centre article here




YouTube has announced an expansion of its YouTube Select sponsorship opportunities. Seasonal sponsorship opportunities like the NFL Game Day All Access, Summer Game Fest, and The Game Awards will provide brands with more opportunities to sponsor events and attach their promotions to popular, thematic content. Additionally, YouTube is offering brands a variety of sponsorship packages during holidays like Mother’s Day, Black Music Appreciation Month, and more. Brands that are interested in YouTube Select sponsorships should get in touch with their Google sales teams. 

YouTube creators are now able to update their channel name without changing their Google account. These changes will only impact their YouTube profile. However, creators should be aware that those with a verification badge will lose their check mark if they change their name. For verified creators looking to change names, you will need to apply to receive your badge again. 




Twitter has added a new visual option for Fleets, the platform’s Story format, which allows users to add a background video or image. These can be uploaded via the device camera or Camera Roll. As seen in the example below, users will now be able to tap on the camera access icons within the Fleets composer tools. This new feature will allow users to create more visually varied and engaging Fleets. 






Snapchat has acquired the 3D mapping developer, Pixel8Earth. Pixel8Earth combines terrestrial and aerial data into a single model, and will help Snapchat in its creation of 3D spatial overlays of landscapes and structures. Snapchat is one of the leading social media platforms for AR filters, and this new acquirement will help to advance its capabilities. 




Pinterest is expanding its partnership with Shopify. Shopify merchants advertising on Pinterest through the Shopify platform will also now have access to Dynamic Retargeting, which will allow them to re-engage with users who have already expressed interest in specific products on Pinterest. The platform is also adding new multi-feed support for catalogs, which will allow brands to upload their products in multiple product feeds within the same Pinterest Business account. 

Pinterest has also announced a Content Claiming process, a copyright option that will enable creators to register their original content and manage its future use via Pins. Through the new process, users will be able to upload images of their IP which Pinterest will be able to scan in for other Pins, and take action as defined. Copyright holders will be able to choose from one of three enforcement options, including Mine only, Website only, and Block all. 




Reddit has announced a new content partnership with the NBA (National Basketball Association). The partnership will allow the NBA to share exclusive material to the platform, including a series of AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions, game highlights, and other NBA and WNBA content. Historically, the NBA is extremely popular on Reddit, with over 3.9 million members on the platform’s biggest NBA subreddit called r/NBA. As Reddit usage and popularity rises, exclusive partnerships like this one helps the platform connect with niche audiences and brings further advertising opportunities to marketers. 




Speaking of exclusive partnerships, Clubhouse has announced a content deal with the NFL (National Football League). The league will broadcast via a number of Rooms, and will lead up to the 2021 NFL Draft. This partnership is a significant step for Clubhouse, as the NFL is the first major sports league to collaborate with the platform on official programming. Users will be able to drop in on NFL rooms to follow the picks live as they are announced, and listen to discussions featuring key NFL figures like athletes and coaches. Users also have the opportunity to join the conversation and be invited by moderators to ask questions and share their reactions. 




That’s all for this week’s social media updates! Be sure to check in every other Friday for more news, and follow us on Facebook for more digital marketing updates. 


With all this talk about new advertising opportunities on social media platforms, are you wondering how your brand can get started? If so, we can help. Chat with our social media marketing experts by clicking the link below! 

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